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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dell-icious

We finally replaced our desktop of more than 10 years on 1 December 2010.

The Intel Pentium III 667MHz machine served us well. It had since had its hardisk, CD drive, keyboard and mouse replaced, and its RAM upgraded from 128MB to 192MB courtesy of a good friend.

Our new machine is a Dell Inspiron 580 with an Intel Core i3 550 (3.2GHz) processor, 4GB RAM, 456GB hardisk, and 20-inch LCD monitor.

Penium III
[The old Pentium III machine]

Core i3
[Our new Core i3 machine]

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Julian at 42 Months

Julian turned 42 months (3 1/2 years) on 28 November 2010. He had his pneumococcal vaccination and weighed in at 14kg.
  • He has developed a habit of screaming - sometimes for no reason.
  • We notice that he is now 'louder' when addressing people. Previously he used to address people softly under his breath.
  • He likes to say "Yes, sure!"
  • He can read the temperature on the digital thermometer correctly.
  • He can turn on the computer, log on to the Internet and shut down at the end of his computer session.
  • He is finally cycling his tricycle.
  • He can wear his pants on his own, though it is problematic when the front and back is specific.
  • He continues to improve in his food intake. Now he eats some fish and meat (char siew and satay are acceptable to him because he calls them 'burger-Q').
  • He's now off the potty... all big or small businesses are done in the toilet.

Julian down the tube slide
[Julian down the tube slide]

Julian at the toy library
[The softer side of Julian]

Julian legs up
[Julian keeping fit]

Julian's Concert Debut

Julian's kindy held their annual concert on 27 November 2010 at the school premises. It was Julian's concert debut :-)

He was involved in 7 items. Of these, he was most participative in the YMCA dance. He wasn't originally slotted for this item but because he seems to enjoy it so much and could remember all the steps, his teacher put him on stage as well on the day. We thought that was really nice of her. He also participated in the 'Hot Potatoes' and 'Waka Waka' dances. For the other items, he mostly just stood still on the stage :-) In the percussion band, which was the penultimate item, he was crying and saying "I want to go home". But still he stood on the stage and 'resentfully' shook his shaker... I suppose we should give him some credit for that :-) Julian was actually nursing a slight fever that day.

Justin at Julian's concert
[Justin is Julian's No. 1 fan]

Waka Waka
[Doing the Waka Waka dance]

YMCA
[Y... M... C A!]

Justin at 16 Months

Justin turned 16 months on 25 November 2010. We took him for the chicken pox vaccination and he weighed in at 9.6kg. No change in weight.
  • At the moment he regularly puts up a fight at bedtime. He refuses to go to bed mainly because he wants to watch TV! *slap head*
  • He's a mega TV addict. His favourite is still the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse series(DVD).
  • He's now adept at putting the discs into the DVD player. However, we have recently elevated the player so it is out of reach of the boys. Let there be peace on earth...!
  • When he gets a chance, Justin also likes banging on the computer.
  • He also likes playing with the bread tags. We use them to keep him occupied during dinner time :-)
  • He can kick the ball now (one of the baby milestones)
  • His bottom right and left molar erupted - his 10th and 11th tooth respectively.
  • He likes to eat fruit loops, especially the yellow loops. He doesn't fancy the red ones.
  • He can say "ma" (Mickey Mouse, moon), "men" (Amen), "deh is" (there it is/here it is) and he makes some sound resembling flower for 'flower'.

Justin down the tube slide
[Justin down the tube slide]

Justin at the toy library
[Justin at the toy library]

Justin on the computer
[Justin on the computer]

Justin pants on head
[Justin doing the Nativity play shepherd impression]

Justin with stickers
[JUstin in a sticky situation]

Justin wet
[Justin's wet look]

Eleventh Encounter

We presented our eleventh Engaged Encounter Weekend. The 79th Catholic Engaged Encounter Weekend was held from 19-21 November 2010 at the College General, Penang. 21 couples attended the weekend. We were on the presenting team with Fr. Ambrose Vaz, and Andrew & Katherine Chong, all from the Singapore Engaged Encounter Community.

20101121_ee79
[Presenters of EE79 joined by Justin]

Bread Pudding

We had lots of frozen leftover bread and some mixed fruit that we needed to get rid off. So, 7 November 2010 saw us baking bread pudding.

Tearing bread into bits
[Tearing the bread into bits]

Mashing bread
[Mash!]

Creaming butter
[Cream!]

Baked bread pudding
[Freshly baked bread pudding: Quality check!]

Bread pudding slice
[Slice of bread pudding: Simply delicious!]

Monday, December 06, 2010

Youth Park and Airbase

We were quite busy on the weekend of 5-6 November 2010. On 5 November 2010, we took the boys to the Youth Park. They had good time in the field kicking a ball around, chasing bubbles, launching a helicopter fan, and having a picnic. They later continued having fun at the playground.

Bubbles
[Bubbles!]

Chasing bubbles
[Bubble chase!]

Everybody look up
[Everybody look up!]

Justin kick ball
[Justin is now good at kicking the ball]

Julian lie flat
[Julian catching his breath, not!]

On 6 November 2010, we were at the Penang Children's Library in the morning. Then, we were off to Butterworth in the afternoon for the Open Day at the Royal Malaysian Air Force airbase. Due to the crowd, we had to park quite a distance away from the entrance. It was scorching hot and we had to carry the boys *sweat*. There were a few fighter jets, a helicopter and a Lockheed C-130 Hercules on display. We took the opportunity to walk through the Hercules.

Fighter jet
[One of the fighter jets]

Hercules
[The Hercules]

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Family Day at Golden Sands

We spent a 3-day 2-night stay (22-24 October 2010) at Shangri-La's Golden Sands Resort at Batu Ferringhi for my department's family day.

On the first day, we checked-in at about 6.30pm and had an opening dinner.

A telematch was scheduled on the morning of the second day but we decided to spend time with the kids on the beach instead. Later in the morning, we adjourned for a dip in the pool. The resort had a nice pool area with many pools of different sizes, depths, and purposes. There's even a jacuzzi :o).

Boys in the sandpit
[The boys in the sand pit]

Boys on the beach
[Fun on the beach]

Look at that!
[Julian: Look at that!]

Justin and Daddy
[Justin and Daddy]

After lunch and a nap, we took the kids to the resort's Adventure Zone where they had a kid's play area with a ball pool and an obstacle course. We ended the evening by the beach.

Floating balls
[The boys and Mummy have powers of levitation?!]

Julian and the waves
[Julian and the sea at dusk]

On the last day, it was more fun in the pool before we checked-out and had lunch.

Unlike the previous family day, we did not have any work-related activity. So, it was a fun and relaxing stay.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Julian at 41 Months

Julian turned 41 months on 28 October 2010.
  • He's now better at conversing and can sometimes answer questions properly without any prompting from us.
  • He is very clear and firm when rejecting something, e.g. at the doctor's he said, "I don't want that" (the spatula doctors usually use when examining the throat).
  • He is very fond of saying "I want to go home.", even at home! We're not sure what he REALLY wants. He generally says it when he's not happy about something or when he starts to get bored/tired (when we're out).
  • He likes to put on his sunglasses in the car (sometimes even at night) and look at himself in the mirror on the visor. In fact, the visor is perpetually flipped down now for him to 'admire' himself (with or without the sunglasses). That's vanity for you! *roll eyes*
  • He's quite fixated when it comes to routines. If a particular routine is not done in the correct sequence, or a 'step' is missed, there is always a risk of him going cranky. For instance, after brushing his teeth he wants to dry his hands. No such thing as going straight to bathe without wiping his hands.
  • Being fixated as he is, he also has difficulty with changes. He often resists new things/situations. We have difficulty getting him to wear 'new' clothes sometimes, but we overcome this by telling him they are a present from someone e.g. Grandma, Ah Kong, etc. However, he hardly resists new toys, always insisting on opening the packages as soon as he sees them!
  • He's improving in his mealtime menu. He is now open to noodles (though not all types) and he especially likes the ABC pasta that we cook. He also likes papaya, watermelon and apples.

20101028_julianslide
[Julian: The Sliding Star]

20101028_julianhat
[Vanity]

Justin at 15 Months

Justin turned 15 months on 25 October 2010. He was at the clinic on 27 October 2010 for a routine check-up. He weighed 9.6kg (600gm increase in the last 3 months). He is now 78cm tall (up from 76cm 3 months ago).

Here are his updates:
  • He tried some roti canai and seems keen to try adult food. He's losing interest in cereal.
  • A ninth tooth has erupted (upper left molar).
  • He can climb up the dining chair *horrors*.
  • On the talking front, he now says "bye" (and waves as well), "borr" (ball), "ya/yeh" (yes), "there" (and points, when we ask him where certain objects are), "thah" (car), "berh" (bird), "bah" (plane), and "no more".
  • He says "airh" to imitate the phonics sound for the letter "A" when Julian plays on Starfall.
  • When we suspect that he has passed motion (but actualy did not) and we ask him "Did you owk-owk?", he shakes his head.
  • Hugs when asked to "sayang" (show love).
  • Can follow instruction to put things somewhere.
  • Nods head when we say "thank you" to him.
  • Can hold his own bottle.
  • He likes to watch Thomas and Friends, and shakes his head when he hears the Thomas and Friends theme song.
  • Likes to fiddle with the DVD player. He knows how to open the tray and can place a disc onto the tray with some help. However, he keeps on wanting to change discs... this drives Julian crazy, and a scuffle ensues.

Justin with tear
[Justin: Sad movies... always make me cry...]

Justin on the phone
[Justin: I called you on the telephone... but you're never home...]

Justin on the potty
[No, that's not **** on his face :o)]

Justin on the slide
[Justin having a go on the slide]

Justin eating dried apple
[Justin sampling a slice of dried apple]

Justin flaps diapers
[Justin doing the diaper cheer routine]

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Highland Holiday 2010

Going to Cameron Highlands seems to have evolved into an annual 'pilgrimage' :-) This year, we were there from 24-26 Sept 2010. Papa and Mummy came with us. We stayed at O'ly Apartments in Tanah Rata, same as last year. Julian could remember the apartment. He remembered celebrating Grandpa and Suk Suk's birthday there.

Day 1:
We left Penang close to 11am. Stopped in Simpang Pulai for lunch before heading up. We arrived in Tanah Rata at almost 4pm. After settling in and having a rest, we went to the Bharat Tea House (a yearly 'ritual'). Since it wasn't raining that evening, we went to the night market in Brinchang. We decided to buy dinner from the night market and eat at the apartment.

Julian at Bharat Tea Plantation
[Julian admiring the view of the Bharat Tea Plantation]

Tea at the Tea Shop
[Tea at the Bharat Plantation Tea Shop]

Day 2:
The morning saw us at the MARDI Station, viewing the plants there. Julian was more fascinated with the decorative fountain and waterfall. The only 'plant' that fascinated him was the giant wintermelons hanging from the vines. He spent most of the time running/walking around.

Justin at Tanah Rata
[Justin satisfied that he was really in Cameron Highlands]

Julian swinging the wintermelon
[And now for the wintermelon swinging competition...]

At the Edible Garden
[At the Edible Garden]

After that we went to EQ Strawberry Farm to pluck strawberries - the highlight for Julian. Justin fell asleep in the car on the way to the farm so I stayed in the car with him while the rest went to pluck strawberries.

Julian plucking strawberries
[Julian likes plucking strawberries more than eating them]

We went back to Tanah Rata for lunch then back to the apartment for a rest. While Papa and Mummy rested, we decided to take the boys for a drive. Our intention was to check the next day's mass time (which we did) and buy something for tea. However, both boys fell asleep in the car so we abandoned the tea idea and drove around a bit before heading back to the apartment. It was raining so we decided to sleep in the car instead of trying to get the boys into the apartment without them waking up or getting wet!

In the evening, we went to Tanah Rata town for a walk and had dinner at a cafe. We also bought some tea to bring home. It rained while we were in town, but luckily stopped when we were ready to leave.

Day 3:
We went for mass in the morning, quite disastrously. The boys were causing quite a havoc and we had to banish ourselves from the chapel upstairs :-( We checked out after mass and went to Brinchang for lunch. After lunch we went to the Big Red Strawberry Farm (another yearly 'ritual'). After a bit of shopping and Julian running around, we left. It was almost 2pm.

Julian inspecting vegetables
[Julian's annual vege-inspection]

Justin walking at cafe
[Justin minding the tuck shop]

We stopped in Simpang Pulai for tea, then headed back to Penang. We arrived at about 6pm. Papa and Mummy then drove back to Butterworth.

The boys were generally fretty this trip (Julian kept saying he wanted to go home) as they were actually not feeling very well. Julian developed a cough two days before the trip and Justin caught it from Julian in Camerons. The weather was cool and there was intermittent rain, which made going out a bit more cumbersome. Only in the night did the temperature get cold. Julian flat refused to wear his sweater, while Justin wore his only during the trip to the night market. Justin was mostly dressed in long sleeved tops while Julian was in his regular T-shirts when we went out. The apartment had Astro so the boys watched cartoons on the Disney channels. They also played with their Ah Kong and Poh Poh.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Fight For Mummy

What do you do when both children want mummy's attention at the same time?

More than once, Julian has gotten up from sleep crying and wanting Mummy to comfort him. The problem is it takes him a while to calm down and sometimes Justin is awakened by his crying. Oh me, oh my, when that happens because then Justin also wants Mummy to get him back to sleep! Justin's ultimate 'weapon' is he wants 'nen nen' (to feed). Julian will insist (practically screaming by now...) Daddy should carry Justin or he doesn't want Justin. The thing is if Julian doesn't get back to sleep, Justin can't fall asleep either with all the wailing! And as long as Justin is awake he will insist (also screaming) he wants Mummy too! We get into this catch-22 situation and neither boy wants to share. The one-lap-each offer gets no takers.

Daddy tries to help as best he can...

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Julian at 40 Months

Julian turned 40 months on 28 September 2010. Here are his updates:
  • He still watches a lot of TV. His current favourite is the Magic School Bus. He's able to manipulate the player independently, including 'skipping' the trailers at the beginning. He only needs us to turn on the main switch.
  • He still likes to play on the computer and has progressed to showing preference for Daddy's laptop because of the Internet connection. His favourite website is www.starfall.com, an educational website. This site can keep his attention for quite a long time.
  • He has begun to show some interest in books again... thank goodness!
  • He likes to 'help' when we are washing milk bottles. Read: play with soap water!
  • He shows some sense of logic. One day we told him that there was no 'grey computer' (laptop) at home. Immediately, he took a toy (which resembles a bag) and headed for the door. When asked where he was going, he replied, "Buy grey computer." Talk about consumerism!
  • He still throws tantrums.
  • Sometimes he wakes up in the middle of the night crying and is difficult to pacify.
  • He has this bad habit of holding water in his mouth. When asking him to swallow doesn't work, we would ask him a question so he would have to swallow in order to answer. Sometimes he tries to answer with the water still in his mouth *slap forehead*
  • He can be quite defiant. When we ask him to hold his pencil/crayon in the correct pencil grip, he would purposely hold it in a 'fist' grip.
  • He often insists that he is correct. A typical conversation would be:
    Julian: There's a crane. Got stick.
    Daddy: The crane has an ARM.
    Julian: No, not arm. STICK! (recently, however, he said that the crane has an arm :-))
  • When we correct his pronunciation, he would sometimes insist we "stop", e.g. "Daddy, stop!" while holding out his hand towards Daddy.
  • When he is scolded, he would switch to his 'don't want' mode: "I don't want Mummy/Daddy" (whoever has scolded him).

Julian on the computer
[Julian on the computer]

Julian eating marshmallow
[Julian eating marshmallow]

Julian spraying water
[Julian spraying water]

Julian chair-camping
[Julian chair-camping]